|Viking Classic - October 26, 2009
Annandale Golf Club
Par: 35-35—70 Yards: 7,125
Purse: $3,700,000 Winner: $666,000
2008 Champion: Will MacKenzie (262, -18)
Fall Series Continues as MacKenzie
Defends Title at Viking Classic
It took two playoff holes, but Will MacKenzie finally broke free from Brian Gay and Marc Turnesa to win the 2008 Viking Classic. The victory in Mississippi was MacKenzie’s second since he joined the TOUR in 2004. He previously won the 2004 Reno-Tahoe Open.
The Viking Classic is the fourth of five Fall Series events, and MacKenzie returns to Annandale Golf Club in Madison, MS, looking for a strong finish to his season. He is 131st on the money list, with his best finish a tie for fifth at The Honda Classic. He also had a top-10 performance at the Memorial Tournament, where he tied for 10th.
Viking Classic Notes
Will MacKenzie returns to defend the 2008 title he won after a two-hole playoff with Brian Gay and Marc Turnesa. Other past champions who are playing this week are Chad Campbell, D.J. Trahan, Heath Slocum, Cameron Beckman, Greg Kraft and Jim Gallagher, Jr.
Greenwood, MS, resident Jim Gallagher, Jr., will make his 18th appearance in the Viking Classic when he tees it up this week. Gallagher first played in 1986. Gallagher won the event in 1985 when it was an unofficial event, the Magnolia State Classic.
Past champion Heath Slocum, who spent part of his childhood in Vicksburg, learned the game from his father, Jack, who was the club pro at Vicksburg Country Club. Jack played in the Viking Classic nine times, making the cut three times. He tied for 49th in 1981, tied for 30th in 1982 and tied for 59th in 1986. When he won the 2005 Southern Farm Bureau Classic, Heath employed his father as his caddie.
Tim Clark, who played for the International Team at The Presidents Cup, will be making his third career appearance at the Viking Classic. Clark tied for seventh in 2003 and tied for eighth in 2004.
Five players with 2009 TOUR wins are in the field this week. They are Michael Bradley (Puerto Rico Open), Nathan Green (RBC Canadian Open), Heath Slocum (The Barclays), Matt Kuchar (Turning Stone Resort Championship) and last week's winner at the Frys.com Open, Troy Matteson.
David Toms and Heath Slocum are the only two players competing this week who also made it to THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, the final event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
Michael Allen is the oldest player in the field. He turned 50 at the beginning of the year, and promptly won the Senior PGA Championship in his Champions Tour debut. Allen is making his ninth appearance at the Viking Classic. His best finish is a tie for 25th in 1991. Tom Pernice, Jr., is the other Champions Tour-eligible player in the field. He won the SAS Championship in his first Champions Tour appearance after turning 50. Pernice tied for sixth at the 1987 Viking Classic, his best Mississippi performance.
Last year, the par-5 18th hole featured a 4.692 stroke average. There were 184 birdies there during the four rounds, the fifth-most birdies on a finishing hole on TOUR in 2008.